by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – THE Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), which has not been spared economic upheavals of the past year, is upbeat of South Africa’s economic prospects in 2018.
“We are excited by the change in local sentiment,” says Nicky Newton-King, JSE Chief Executive Officer.
She says JSE is clear about its priorities for 2018 hence the issues that the bourse needs to tackle to improve its operational resilience and to achieve its strategy.
“We look forward to being a constructive part of the renewal of our battered country as we build momentum towards inclusive growth,” says Newton-King.
Her sentiments follow a challenging year for the JSE against a backdrop of tough market conditions which saw a decline in values and volumes traded in most of the JSE’s key markets.
This environment impacted operating revenue which declined by 5 percent to R2,2 billion (2016: R2,3 billion).
Against this background, management took steps to sustainably reduce the JSE’s cost base which was down 1 percent to R1.40 billion (2016: R1,41 billion).
As a result, JSE reported Group earnings of R836 million (2016: R920 million), a decline limited to 9 percent.
Newton-King says 2017 was a challenging year for both the JSE and its clients.
“We are pleased that, in this environment, we were able to grow the ordinary dividend to shareholders and continue to make year-on-year reductions in certain of our fees in order to find ways to make it more affordable for our clients to do business with us,” says Nicky Newton-King.